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Estonia to put together common public transport ticketing system

Helsinki's public transport system will be used as an example.
Helsinki's public transport system will be used as an example. Source: HSL

Since Estonia lacks a unified public transportation planning platform, the state will start developing a prototype that would allow travelers to purchase the necessary tickets from a single environment.

The Transport Administration has reported a significant need for a system because currently, different modes of transportation (public transport, ferries, trains, short-term car rentals etc.) each have their own booking and ticket sales channels, and their application interfaces (APIs) do not align. There is also no centralized way to connect different APIs with each other.

"At the moment, passengers do not have a convenient unified system through which to plan their journey using public transport and alternative modes of transport. This is one of the reasons why people tend to move by private car, as it is currently easier," stated Johann Peetre, head of the Mobility Planning Department at the Transport Administration.

"To solve this problem, the state supports the creation of a prototype, on the basis of which the private sector can create a functioning environment where different transport service providers can easily sell their services."

With the MaaS (Mobility as a Service) X-Road project, the state is creating a prototype of a service platform that mediates standardized travel queries and combines mobility services and the purchase of travel rights. Thus, a standardized X-Road data exchange layer is being created, which MaaS operators in the private market could use.

The Transport Administration cites Helsinki's public transport system platform as a good example, through which one can plan a journey and immediately buy all the necessary tickets.

The MaaS X-Road is a secure data exchange layer that combines all public transport and mobility service providers (bus, train, taxi, car rental, electric scooter etc.), allowing for the introduction of a new type of service where all the services needed for the journey are found in one place, and travel rights can be acquired in a single transaction.

The development of the prototype will be modular, testing the functionality of each module with stakeholders to ensure its suitability. Solutions will be adjusted as necessary before developing the next module.

The project is funded by the State Chancellery, lasts 18 months, and costs €840,000. Participants in the project include the Transport Administration, the Ministry of Climate and the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Agriculture.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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